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2011-04-20 11:53


 ����1. So�� tell me a little about yourself. You don‘t need to explain everything from birth to present day. Relevant facts about education�� your career and your current life situation are fine. ������@������www.safebook.net��

����2. Why are you looking ��or why did you leave you last job����

����This should be a straightforward question to answer�� but it can trip you up. Presumably you ar



e looking for a new job ��or any job�� because you want to advance your career and get a position that allows you to grow as a person and an employee. It‘s not a good idea to mention money here�� it can make you sound mercenary. And if you are in the unfortunate situation of having been downsized�� stay positive and be a***rief as pos***le about it. If you were fired�� you’ll need a good explanation. But once again�� stay positive.

����3. Tell me what you know about this company. Do your homework before you go to any interview. Whether it‘***eing the VP of marketing or the mailroom clerk�� you should know about the company or business you’re going to work for. Has this company been in the news lately�� Who are the people in the company you should know about�� Do the background work�� it will make you stand out as someone who comes prepared�� and is genuinely interested in the company and the job.

����4. Why do you want to work at X Company��

����This should be directly related to the last question. Any research you‘ve done on the company should have led you to the conclusion that you’d want to work there. After all�� you‘re at the interview�� right�� Put some thought into this answer before you have your interview�� mention your career goals and highlight forward-thinking goals and career plans.

����5. What relevant experience do you have��

����Hopefully if you‘re applying for this position you have bags of related experience�� and if that’s the case you should mention it all. But if you‘re switching careers or trying something a little different�� your experience may initially not look like it’s matching up. That‘s when you need a little honest creativity to match the experiences required with the ones you have. People skills are people skills after all�� you just need to show how customer service skills can apply to internal management positions�� and so on.

����6. If your previous co-workers were here�� what would they say about you��

����Ok�� this is not the time for full disclosure. If some people from your past are going to say you‘re a boring A-hole�� you don’t need to bring that up. Stay positive�� always�� and maybe have a few specific quotes in mind. “They‘d say I was a hard worker” or even better “John Doe has always said I was the most reliable�� creative problem-solver he’d ever met.”

����7. Have you done anything to further your experience��

����This could include anything from night classes to hobbies and sports. If it‘s related�� it’s worth mentioning. Obviously anything to do with further education is great�� but maybe you‘re spending time on a home improvement project to work on skills such as self-sufficiency�� time management and motivation.

����8. Where else have you applied��

����This is a good way to hint that you‘re in demand�� without sounding like you’re whoring yourself all over town. So�� be honest and mention a few other companie***ut don‘t go into detail. The fact that you’re seriously looking and keeping your options open is what the interviewer is driving at.

����9. How are you when you‘re working under pressure��

����Once again�� there are a few ways to answer thi***ut they should all be positive. You may work well under pressure�� you may thrive under pressure�� and you may actually PREFER working under pressure. If you say you crumble like aged blue cheese�� this is not going to help you get your foot in the door.

����10. What motivates you to do a good job��

����The answer to this one is not money�� even if it is. You should be motivated by life‘s noble pursuits. You want recognition for a job well done. You want to become better at your job. You want to help others or be a leader in your field.

����11. What‘s your greatest strength��

����This is your chance to shine. You‘re being asked to explain why you are a great employee�� so don’t hold back and stay do stay positive. You could be someone who thrives under pressure�� a great motivator�� an amazing problem solver or someone with extraordinary attention to detail. If your greatest strength�� however�� is to drink anyone under the table or get a top score on Mario Kart�� keep it to yourself. The interviewer is looking for work-related strengths.

����12. What‘s your biggest weakness��

����If you‘re completely honest�� you may be kicking yourself in the butt. If you say you don’t have one�� you‘re obviously lying. This is a horrible question and one that politicians have become masters at answering. They say things like “I’m perhaps too committed to my work and don‘t spend enough time with my family.” Oh�� there’s a fireable offense. I‘ve even heard “I think I’m too good at my job�� it can often make people jealous.” Please�� let‘s keep our feet on the ground. If you’re asked this question�� give a small�� work-related flaw that you‘re working hard to improve. Example�� “I’ve been told I occasionally focus on details and miss the bigger picture�� so I‘ve been spending time laying out the complete project every day to see my overall progress.”

����13. Let‘s talk about salary. What are you looking for��

����Run for cover�� This is one tricky game to play in an interview. Even if you know the salary range for the job�� if you answer first you‘re already showing all your cards. You want as much as pos***le�� the employer wants you for as little as you’re willing to take. Before you apply�� take a look at salary.com for a good idea of what someone with your specific experience should be paid. You may want to say�� “well�� that‘s something I’ve thought long and hard about and I think someone with my experience should get between X & Y.” Or�� you could be sly and say�� “right now�� I‘m more interested in talking more about what the position can offer my career.” That could at least buy you a little time to scope out the situation. But if you do have a specific figure in mind and you are confident that you can get it�� I’d say go for it. I have on many occasions�� and every time I got very close to that figure ��both below and sometimes above����

����14. Are you good at working in a team��

����Unless you have the I.Q. of a houseplant�� you‘ll always answer YES to this one. It’s the only answer. How can anyone function inside an organization if they are a loner�� You may want to mention what part you like to play in a team though�� it‘s a great chance to explain that you’re a natural leader.

����15. Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented. It‘s important here to focus on the word “implemented.” There’s nothing wrong with having a thousand great ideas�� but if the only place they live is on your notepad what‘s the point�� Better still�� you need a good ending. If your previous company took your advice and ended up going bankrupt�� that’s not such a great example either. Be prepared with a story about an idea of yours that was taken from idea to implementation�� and considered successful. 16. Has anything ever irritated you about people you‘ve worked with��

����Of course�� you have a list as long as your arm. But you can‘t say that�� it shows you a***eing negative and difficult to work with. The best way to answer this one is to think for a while and then say something like “I’ve always got on just fine with my co-workers actually.”

����Use this question as a chance to show that you are a team player�� “The only people I have trouble with are those who aren‘t team players�� who just don’t perform�� who complain constantly�� and who fail to respond to any efforts to motivate them.” The interviewer is expecting a response focused on personality and personal dislikes. Surprise her by delivering an answer that reflects company values

����17. Is there anyone you just could not work with��

����No. Well�� unless you‘re talking about murderers�� racists�� rapists�� thieves or other dastardly characters�� you can work with anyone. Otherwise you could be flagged as someone who’s picky and difficult if you say�� “I can‘t work with anyone who’s a Bronco‘s fan. Sorry.”

����18. Tell me about any issues you‘ve had with a previou***oss. Arrgh�� If you fall for this one you shouldn’t be hired anyway. The interviewer is testing you to see if you‘ll speak badly about your previous supervisor. Simply answer this question with exteme tact�� diplomacy and if necessary�� a big fat loss of memory. In short�� you’ve never had any issues.

����The answer to 18 is completely wrong. I am a director at a major media company‘s interactive division. Our company is expanding and I am almost in a constant state of hiring. I ask a variation of this question in every single interview and if a candidate has never had one issue or disagreement with anyone�� ��I stated a variation�� I ask if it has happened with anyone in the workplace�� I peg them as a liar and reject them immediately.

����I went well with my previou***oss. If there is an conflict�� I will be open mind and talk about facts. once decision is made�� I execute it well.

����19. Would you rather work for money or job satisfaction��

����It‘s not a very fair question is it�� We’d all love to get paid a Trump-like salary doing a job we love but that‘s rare indeed. It’s fine to say money is important�� but remember that NOTHING is more important to you than the job. Otherwise�� you‘re just someone looking for a bigger paycheck.

����20. Would you rather be liked or feared��

����I have been asked this a lot�� in various incarnations. The first time I just drew a blank and said�� “I don‘t know.” That went over badly�� but it was right at the start of my career when I had little to no experience. Since then I’ve realized that my genuine answer is “Neither�� I‘d rather be respected.” You don’t want to be feared because fear is no way to motivate a team. You may got the job done but at what cost�� Similarly�� if you‘re everyone’***est friend you‘ll find it difficult to make tough decisions or hit deadlines. But when you’re respected�� you don‘t have to be a complete bastard or a lame duck to get the job done.

����21. Are you willing to put the interests of X Company ahead of your own��

����Again�� another nasty question. If you say yes�� you‘re a corporate whore who doesn’t care about family. If you say no�� you‘re disloyal to the company. I’m afraid that you‘ll probably have to say yes to this one though�� because you’re trying to be the perfect employee at this point�� and perfect employees don‘t cut out early for Jimmy’***a***all game.

����it is situational. if you… �� if you …�� Ethics and professionalism

����22. So�� explain why I should hire you. As I‘m sure you know�� “because I’m great” or “I really need a job” are not good answers here. This is a time to give the employer a laundry list of your greatest talents that just so happen to match the job description. It‘s also good to avoid taking potshots at other potential candidates here. Focus on yourself and your talents�� not other people’s flaws.

����23. Finally�� do you have any questions to ask me��

����I‘ll finish the way I started�� with one of the most common questions asked in interviews. This directly relates to the research you’ve done on the company and also gives you a chance to show how eager and prepared you are. You‘ll probably want to ask about benefits if they haven’t been covered already. A good generic one is “how soon could I start�� if I were offered the job of course.” You may also ask what you‘d be working on. Specifically�� in the role you’re applying for and how that affects the rest of the company. Always have questions ready�� greeting this one with a blank stare is a rotten way to finish your interview. Good luck and happy job hunting.

����ponder for a moment�� and then ask your interviewer “what aspect of your job do you find most challenging”��

����I would ask the interviewer�� “Why do you like to work here��”

����24. Where do you want to be in 5 to years��

����They dont want to hear in the same job you are interviewing for. Ultimately�� the HR people are searching for someone who can handle the job now�� and has the potential to grow into a high level management job in the future. Do you have those goals too��

����25. Would you rather work for a big company or a small one��

����Favorite answer�� I‘d treat any company like it was my own regardless. Total ownership of the situation can get you a long way.

����General �� the worst answer was “I don‘t know.” I’ve since learned that “it depends��” with a couple of examples�� is perfectly appropriate


����Don't discuss your goals for returning to school or having a family�� they are not relevant and could knock you out of contention for the job. Rather�� you want to connect your answer to the job you are applying for.


����* My long-term goals involve growing with a company where I can continue to learn�� take on additional responsibilities�� and contribute as much of value as I can.

����* I see myself as a top performing employee in a well-established organization�� like this one. I plan on enhancing my skills and continuing my involvement in ��related�� professional associations.

����* Once I gain additional experience�� I would like to move on from a technical position to management.

����* In the XYZ Corporation�� what is a typical career path for someone with my skills and experiences��

������һ������һ�㶼����� Tell me about yourself/ How would you describe yourself��

����You walk into the interview room�� shake hands with your interviewer and sit down with your best interviewing smile on. Guess what their first question is�� "Tell me about yourself." Your interviewer is not looking for a 10-minute dissertation here. Instead�� offer a razor sharp sentence or two that sets the stage for further discussion and sets you apart from your competitors.

����Your Unique Selling Proposition ��USP��˵���������

����Give them "your synopsis about you" answer�� specifically your Unique Selling Proposition. Known as a personal branding or a value-added statement�� the USP is a succinct�� one-sentence description of who you are�� your biggest strength and the major benefit that a company will derive from this strength. Here is an example of a Unique Selling Proposition�� "I'm a seasoned Retail Manager strong in developing training programs and loss prevention techniques that have resulted in revenue savings of over $2.3Million for ��employer's name�� during the past 11 years."

����What a difference you've made with this statement. Your interviewer is now sitting forward in her chair giving you her full attention. At this point�� you might add the following sentence�� "I'd like to discuss how I might be able to do something like that for you." The ball is now back in her court and you have the beginnings of a real discussion and not an interrogation process.

����“My background to date has been centered around preparing myself to become the very best financial consultant I can become. Let me tell you specifically how I've prepared myself. I am an undergraduate student in finance and accounting at _________ University. My past experiences has been in retail and higher education. Both aspects have prepared me well for this career.”

��������Ҫ��ȷ�������˽�����ķ��������Do they want to know about your career so far�� about your hobbies or family life�� If in doubt�� ASK them to clarify what they wish you to talk about. Then give a short factual answer�� ending with "is there anything else you'd like to know about me��"

����* How would you describe yourself��


����Try to think about what the interviewers are looking for and keep this in mind as you answer interview questions. Remember the job advert�� Were they looking for initiative�� a good communicator�� someone with good attention to detail�� Describe yourself in these terms. Start with "I am……" and not with "I think……" or "I believe……" so that you sound self aware and confident.


����When you're interviewing for an internal position within your company�� you may be asked what you will do if you don't get the job. The interviewer wants to know whether you are concerned about just the advancement opportunity or the company. �ڲ�ְλ��Ƹ���ᱻ�ʵ������û�еõ���ݹ����Ļ��㽫����ô������⡣


����I am committed to this company and its advancement so�� should I not be selected�� I will work with and support whoever might get selected. However�� I do feel that my experience in the department and with the team would make me the best candidate

����How would your boss describe you��

����If you get the job�� your interviewer may be your future boss so you need to answer this question carefully. Describe yourself as any boss would want to see you. You might say��

����"My boss would describe me as hard working�� loyal�� friendly and committed. He would say that I work well on my own initiative and deliver what he wants on time and to a high standard".

����Again�� don‘t use the term “I think my boss would say……” as it gives an element of doubt. Be positive and certain with the interview answer you give.

����* What motivates you��

����I am motivated by being around other positive people�� we might question if working alone would suit them.

����I am motivated by targets.

����* What do you look for in a job��

����This is really a question about suitability�� though we've included it here.

����Remember the advert�� Focus on the advert criteria and you won't go far wrong. For example�� if the advert called for someone to lead others�� you might say��

����"I like a job where I can lead and motivate others and enjoy seeing improvements in team performance".

����If the advert called for a target-focused individual�� you might say��

����"I like having targets. They encourage me to stretch myself and beat them��"

����* What is your personal mission statement or motto��

����Not everyone has one�� but because you might be asked�� think what yours would be.

����"Just do it��"

����"Right first time�� every time".

����"Less talk�� more action".

����"Treat others as you'd wish to be treated".

����"Fortune favours the brave".

����"Quality�� quality�� quality……".

����Our advice�� This is one of those times when we ask candidates to explain their answers to our interview questions. So�� whatever you say�� it's likely you'll be asked to give a reason or example so have one in mind. For most jobs�� you want to sound positive and motivated�� but possibly not ruthless or inconsiderate.

����* What do you enjoy most about what you do now��

����"I really enjoy the technical nature of the job and the speed at which I'm able to fix faults. I get a lot of satisfaction from getting people back to work as soon as possible".

����If working as part of a team is mentioned as a requirement of the job�� you might answer��

����"I really enjoy being part of a team. I like it when the team pulls together to achieve something and everyone can take some credit".

����* What do you enjoy least about your current role��

����A good interview answer might go something like this��

����"Actually�� I enjoy everything about what I do. I suppose if I had to give something up�� it would be……"

����The 'something' depends on you�� but it's best to mention something incidental to your job�� like admin or paperwork. So you might say��

����"I'm not sure ��pause���� I suppose if I had to pick something to give up it would be paperwork. I know it's important�� and I do it well�� but if someone else did if for me�� that would be great��"

����* Why do you want to leave your current job/company��

����If you're applying for a more senior job�� you might answer��

����"I really enjoy what I do�� but I'm ready for more responsibility and challenge which your job offers. Unfortunately�� my current job/employer can't give me this."

����If this isn't the reason�� use yours instead�� but always be positive in your answers to tough interview question

����* What do you think of your current boss��

����"My current boss is great. He sets the team challenging but realistic targets and motivates us to achieve them……"

����"My current boss is very good. She deals with her team firmly but fairly and enjoys our respect because of this……"

����If your current boss is not great�� and you are prepared to answer more interview questions about this�� say so�� but do balance each criticism with a positive point. Remember the need to appear positive in your answers to interview questions. You might say��

����"My current boss has strengths and weaknesses. He is very good at listening to people but sometimes�� in my view�� doesn't deal with underperformers firmly enough. This affects team morale sometimes……"

����* What will you miss about your present job��

����People is the best interview answer here. Say anything else and you're suggesting the job you're applying for won't give you everything you had and more�� and might even leave you wanting��

����As you think about answers to interview questions�� always have in mind the need to create a positive impression.

����"Well I'm confident that the job you're offering will give me everything I have now and more so I don't think I'll miss anything about the job itself. But I'll miss some of the people of course……"

����* What can you tell me about XYZ Company��

����If you need to�� start by saying "Is it ok if I refer to my notes��". When you get the nod�� off you go.

����A good interview answer should include short factual statements covering such things as the Company's history�� its products�� staff numbers�� turnover and future business objectives. Something like this is fine��

����"I believe the Company began in 1967�� with just one outlet�� but now has 25. From what I've read�� you sell A�� B and C products across Europe and the States and have a turnover in excess of $5 million. You employ 125 staff. I beleive you hope to enter the Asian market by 2010".   "I've done some research and can tell you more if you like".

����You will likely hear "No�� that's fine. Thank you."

����Your interviewers will be impressed that you prepared and made notes and you're off to a good start.

����* What do you think XYZ Company can offer you��

����There are two bits to this interview question�� the role and the Company. Mention both. You might say��

����"I'm told the Company has a firm commitment to individual training and development. This is great news for me because I'm keen to learn and advance in the Company. The role itself appears challenging and rewarding which I'll find very motivating".

����* If you're successful�� what do you think you'll be doing day-to-day��

����You might start by saying "I understand that I'll be……". Then you could talk about the main role�� any other activities and any targets you expect to be given.

����What are your strengths/weaknesses��

����IMPORTANT —— this common job interview question can be asked in many different ways�� such as "What qualities do you admire in others that you would like to develop in yourself��"

����Strengths should be easy enough to think about ��keep the position in mind����

����Talking about weaknesses can be harder but good interview answers are still possible. Many people choose to mention something which they've recognized as being a weakness but have overcome.

����"I'd like to be more organized�� like one of my colleagues. She doesn't have to try. But because I don't find it as easy as her�� I use to-do lists and a diary to help me successfully manage my work".

����On a final note�� it's much safer to highlight your lack of experience or knowledge as a weakness than a fault in your personality. Employers can always give you experience but few want to help you overcome shortcomings in your personality�� So avoid telling interviewers that you "get bored" or "too involved" or "frustrated"��

����Why did you think you are suited to this job��

����What they are really asking is "You know what we are looking for so can you tell us what you have done or what you have�� that is relevant."

����Why should we give the job to you above other applicants��

����This is often our closing question. We want to know�� in a nutshell�� why you are the best candidate for the job. This is a chance to list your best attributes as they relate to the vacancy. Don't be cocky�� but don't be shy.\

����* How well do you work under pressure��

����“I know that all jobs involve some sort of pressure at some time.  I can work as well under pressure as I do at any other time but when I am busy�� I prioritize activities so that my workload is manageable.”

����If the interviewers focus on other pressure�� such as pressure to meet targets�� dealing with difficult customers etc�� give an appropriate reply�� mentioning past situations where you have coped under such pressure.

����* What sort of people do you find it difficult to work with��

����“I am an easy going person who seems to get on with everyone. If I have to pick a type of person that bothers me�� it's the one who doesn't pull their weight or isn't worried about the standard of their work because it reflects badly on the rest of the team.”

����* Sell me this pen��

����In interviews for sales job�� you may hear this�� believe us�� In fact�� one of us had a non-sales interview and was asked this�� unexpectedly. The object you are asked to sell could in fact be anything. Some interviewers like to see whether you focus on the benefits of the object or its features. The features of the pen might be that it's blue�� with a roller ball and plastic coating. The benefits might be that it's reliable�� easy to hold and leak proof.

����* What key skills do you think you need to be successful in this role��

����You got this far because your job application form or resume or CV matched the interviewers' criteria as specified in the job advert. Just expand on this in your job interview answers. List the skills you think are required�� giving a little explanation as to why each is needed.

����You might then be asked to give examples where you've used one or more of these skills. These are behavioural interview questions.

����* Where do you see yourself in five years time��

����This can be a difficult job interview question to answer�� especially if you've not thought beyond getting this job��  When you answer�� you want to sound ambitious enough to be motivated to do a good job�� but not too ambitious in case your interviewers think you're only using this job as a stepping stone to something better.

����I can be successful in this job and taken on additional responsibilities and be considered suitable for promotion.

����* How does this job fit into your career plans��

����This is a similar job interview question to the one above really�� except that it looks beyond five years. Be realistic. You might say something like this if you're going for a middle-management position��

����"My ambition is to lead a department and be involved in strategic decision-making at a senior level. I expect the role I'm applying for to give me more experience of leading and some introduction to strategy so that I'm ready for a senior role in a few years time".

����* Where did you think you'd be at this stage in your life��

����Avoid saying further than you are now�� It's better to show you've met or exceeded your ambitions than fallen short of them. Tell the interviewers that you are happy with your life and career�� but are looking for more challenge as you like to stretch yourself to achieve more.

����* If you could start again�� what career decisions would you make differently��

����You're on sticky ground if you start trying to think of hypothetical career changes that might have served you better in the past. Your answers to interview questions will suggest you're not happy with the way things are and no-one wants to hire an unhappy person.

����“I wouldn't change anything. I am happy with my career as it is now but want fresh challenges.”

����"I'm not the kind of person who looks back with regrets. I prefer to invest my energy looking forward".

����* How would you approach a typical project��

����If you're applying for a project based job�� such as a project manager�� you will be asked this job interview question. Don't give a long winded answer�� but try to demonstrate that you would take into account the main components of effective project planning such as��

����- Planning the schedule backwards from completion

����- Working out what you need to get the job done effectively and on time

����- Budgeting —— costs�� time and resources

����- Allowing a contingency

����* How would you get the best from people��

����If you are applying for any management role�� it is highly likely you'll be asked this job interview question. The kind of skills that we'd be looking for in a good applicant are��

����- Good communication

����- Teamwork skills

����- Recognizing what each person can bring

����- Setting a good example

����- Praising good performances

����* Give us an example of how you have resolved conflict.

����As this is a behavioural interview question�� you need to find an example of conflict that you have resolved. The sort of skills you need to demonstrate in your interview answer are��

����- Fairness

����- Discussing problems with individuals in private

����- Making sure you get to the root of the problem

����- Finding a solution that everyone will accept

����* What did you look for when you hired people in the past��

����This is a general question. Don't think about specific skills of the job you are applying for. Think generally about the key attributes everyone looks for in a good applicant. Among others�� these include��

����- Aptitude

����- Skills

����- Initiative

����- Flexibility

����- Commitment

����Do you work best by yourself or as part of a team��

����Most jobs require both�� to varying degrees.

����As with all answers to job interview questions�� think about the position you are applying for. Are the interviewers looking for a team worker�� Did they mention this in the advert or is it implicit in the job description��  If a team player is required�� tell the interviewers that you work well in a team. Give an example if you can. You might say��

����"I prefer to work in teams. I find that better decisions are reached when people work together and share ideas. Of course I'm happy to work alone when required too."

����If the job is mostly done alone�� you might say��

����"I work very well by myself because I'm self motivated�� organized and conscientious. I'm comfortable working in teams though and recognize that this is better in some situations".

����* What kind of personality do you work best with and why��

����You will deal with many personalities in any job. If the interviewers know the people you'll be working with�� they might have a personality in mind�� It's hard for you to know this however so stick to a safe answer. You might say��

����"I find I work well with almost everyone but who I work best with might depend on the activity. If it's a project�� I prefer to work with someone who's practical and organized because this is important. If it's leading a discussion�� working with someone who's a good facilitator helps."

����* How would you go about establishing your credibility quickly within the team��

����Gaining credibility quickly is important. Make sure you listen�� learn�� question�� understand. You might say�� "That's a good question and I realize it's important to gain credibility quickly. I believe the best way is to show your colleagues that you respect their experience and want to learn from them as well as about them. You need to listen�� ask the right questions and make sure you understand. If they can see you'll fit in early on�� it helps".

����* Tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict on the job.

����This is a behavioural interview question.  If you can't think of an example�� it's ok to say so. If that's the case�� either say how you would deal with it�� or use an example where someone you know dealt with conflict well.

����Most interviewers would look for��

����o Getting both sides of the argument

����o Suggesting and agreeing compromise

����o Showing tactfulness

����o Showing empathy

����* What irritates you about other people�� and how do you deal with it��

����Personal conflict is inevitable in the workplace  Try not to say that A or B irritates you. Instead�� talk about the characteristics which you find hard�� not the people. You might say��

����"I find I get on with most people so it's not normally a problem. It's rather disappointing when people don't pull their weight I suppose and this has happened. In that instance I spoke to the person in private�� explained that they were letting the team down and asked them to make more of an effort. They did."

����"Can you give me some idea of the salary you're expecting��"

����is one of those job interview questions that can really get you tongue-tied.

����What do you say�� Usually�� moments later�� you realize you've accepted a salary far lower than you wanted. Although you were prepared to negotiate your salary�� you panicked at the last minute and lost your nerve. As you leave the interview room�� your excitement at getting the job is tainted. You can't help feeling undervalued�� even a little duped. Ask for too much and you risk looking unrealistic�� over confident�� maybe even greedy. Ask for too little and you risk undervaluing yourself and your contribution�� and ultimately being underpaid. For many of us�� salary is one of the most important factors in taking a job�� but it's often the hardest to deal with.

����Nerves got the better of her and worried about sounding greedy�� she suggested a lower amount. When she was offered the job�� there was the salary she suggested�� right at the start of the offer letter. She wasn't surprised but she was disappointed. So how can you avoid this happening to you��

����* Research is essential when it comes to suggesting a reasonable salary. Take time to look though job advertisements for similar positions. Research the WWW or post a question in a forum or on Yahoo�� Answers

����Research the Company too. A large Company�� if asked�� will probably have more scope to offer you a better benefits package than a smaller one

����* Don't initiate salary discussions or say anything about pay during your job interview unless asked

����* If you're asked for a figure�� suggest a range rather than an actual figure. This gives room to negotiate if a firm job offer is made during the job interview

����* If you're offered the job and reach agreement on a salary�� make sure the written job offer states this amount clearly

����* And when it comes to the actual salary negotiation here are 6 essential salary

����* The most important thing to remember when discussing your salary is that it is a negotiation. Like any form of bartering�� the first figure you mention in the job interview probably won't be the figure you agree on. But it's a place to start.

����* Be confident about what you're worth. Recognise that you're bringing something unique to the Company�� and that you're worth the wage you're requesting. Even if you've only just finished school or college�� you still have something unique to offer and it's important to bear that in mind as you think about salary negotiation.

����* Remember also that it's not easy finding the right person for a job. If you've impressed the interviewers enough to employ you�� you have the upper hand and paying a little more to keep you isn't too big a deal. So ask for a slightly higher salary than you expect.

����* If the job advertisement mentions a salary range�� employers will be prepared to pay more for the right candidate. If you're a little uncomfortable asking for the top figure�� choose one just above the mid-range. This gives the impression that you are worth a good wage and is a great place to start.

����Assuming an advertised salary range of $30��000 to $42��000�� you might say this��

����"I'm expecting a salary in the region of $38��000�� based on my knowledge and experience".

����* Remember that salary is not everything. If the salary is less than you hoped and the Company won't or can't go any higher�� ask about other benefits which are important to you like training courses�� financial help with further study and so on.

����What specific goals�� including those related to your occupation�� have you established for your life��

����I want to be working for an excellent company like yours in a job in which I am managing information. I plan to contribute my leadership�� interpersonal�� and technical skills. My long-range career goal is to be the best information systems technician I can for the company I work for.

����3. How has your college experience prepared you for a business career��

����I have prepared myself to transition into the work force through real-world experience involving travel abroad�� internship�� and entrepreneurial opportunities. While interning with a private organization in Ecuador�� I developed a 15-page marketing plan composed in Spanish that recommended more effective ways the company could promote its services. I also traveled abroad on two other occasions in which I researched the indigenous culture of the Mayan Indians in Todos Santos�� Guatemala�� and participate din a total language immersion program in Costa Rica. As you can see from my academic�� extracurricular�� and experiential background�� I have unconditionally committed myself to success as a marketing professional.

����4. Please describe the ideal job for you following graduation.

����My ideal job is one that incorporates both my education and practical work skills to be the best I can be. Namely combining my education in finance with my working knowledge of customer service operations�� entrepreneurial abilities�� computer skills�� and administrative skills. I want to utilize my analytical expertise to help people meet their financial goals. This is exactly why I am convinced that I would be a very valuable member of the Merrill Lynch team.

����What influenced you to choose this career��

����My past experiences have shown me that I enjoy facing and overcoming the challenge of making a sale. Without a doubt�� once I have practiced my presentation and prepared myself for objections�� I feel very confident approaching people I don't know and convincing them that they need my product. Lastly�� I like sales because my potential for success is limited only by how much of myself I dedicate toward my goal. If any profession is founded on self-determinism�� it surely must be sales.

����At what point did you choose this career��

����I knew that I wanted to pursue information systems technology about my sophomore year in college. It was then that I realized that my hobby ��computers�� was taking up most of my time. My favorite courses were IT courses. I also realized that I was doing computer-oriented work-study that I enjoyed so much I would have done it for free.

����What specific goals have you established for your career��

����My goals include becoming a Certified Financial Advisor so I can obtain a better working knowledge of financial research analysis�� which would allow me contribute to my client base as a better financial consultant since I would have that extra insight into the companies they are seeking to invest in. Also this is the foundation block to advancing my career to portfolio manager or even branch office manager.

����What will it take to attain your goals�� and what steps have you taken toward attaining them��

����I've already done some research on other workers at Merrill Lynch to see how they achieved similar goals. I know that Merrill Lynch encourages the pursuit and will reimburse for tuition of a graduate degree. I plan on pursuing a MBA to give me an even more extensive knowledge of business and financial analysis.

����How did you handle a challenge��

����* During a difficult financial period�� I was able to satisfactorily negotiate repayment schedules with multiple vendors.

����* When the software development of our new product stalled�� I coordinated the team which managed to get the schedule back on track. We were able to successfully troubleshoot the issues and solve the problems�� within a very short period of time.

����* A long-term client was about to take their business to a competitor. I met with the customer and was able to change how we handled the account on a day-to-day basis�� in order to keep the business

����When you're asked what your greatest weakness is�� try to turn a negative into a positive. For example�� a sense of urgency to get projects completed or wanting to triple-check every item in a spreadsheet can be turned into a strength i.e. you are a candidate who will make sure that the project is done on time and your work will be close to perfect.


����* When I'm working on a project�� I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather�� I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.

����* Being organized wasn't my strongest point�� but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organization skills.

����* I like to make sure that my work is perfect�� so I tend to perhaps spend a little too much time checking it. However�� I've come to a good balance by setting up a system to ensure everything is done correctly the first time.

����* I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week�� but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense.


����* When I'm working on a project�� I don't want just to meet deadlines. Rather�� I prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule.

����* I have exceeded my sales goals every quarter and I've earned a bonus each year since I started with my current employer.

����* My time management skills are excellent and I'm organized�� efficient�� and take pride in excelling at my work.

����* I pride myself on my customer service skills and my ability to resolve what could be difficult situations.

����How well can you work in stressful situations��

����* Stress is very important to me. With stress�� I do the best possible job. The appropriate way to deal with stress is to make sure I have the correct balance between good stress and bad stress. I need good stress to stay motivated and productive.

����* I react to situations�� rather than to stress. That way�� the situation is handled and doesn't become stressful.

����* I actually work better under pressure and I've found that I enjoy working in a challenging environment.

����* From a personal perspective�� I manage stress by visiting the gym every evening. It's a great stress reducer.

����* Prioritizing my responsibilities so I have a clear idea of what needs to be done when�� has helped me effectively manage pressure on the job.

����* If the people I am managing are contributing to my stress level�� I discuss options for better handling difficult situations with them.

����What‘s motivates you��

����* I was responsible for several projects where I directed development teams and implemented repeatable processes. The teams achieved 100% on-time delivery of software products. I was motivated both by the challenge of finishing the projects ahead of schedule and by managing the teams that achieved our goals.

����* I've always been motivated by the desire to do a good job at whatever position I'm in. I want to excel and to be successful in my job�� both for my own personal satisfaction and for my employer.

����* I have always wanted to ensure that my company's clients get the best customer service I can provide. I've always felt that it's important�� both to me personally�� and for the company and the clients�� to provide a positive customer experience.

����* I have spent my career in sales�� typically in commission-based positions�� and compensation has always been a strong factor in motivating me to be the top salesperson at my prior employers.

����Salary Negotiations

����If you're asked what your salary requirements are�� say that they are open based upon the position and the overall compensation package. Or tell the employer you'd like to know more about the responsibilities and the challenges of the job prior to discussing salary.

����Another option is to give the employer a salary range based upon the salary research you've done up front. Once you've received the offer you don't need to accept ��or reject�� it right away. A simple "I need to think it over" can get you an increase in the original offer.

����And if you're ambivalent about the position a "no" can bring you a better offer too. I turned down a position I knew I didn't want�� regardless of salary�� and received three follow-up phone calls upping the compensation package.

����Negotiating a Raise

����Be aware of company policy regarding compensation. Be flexible. Would you consider an extra couple of weeks vacation instead of a raise�� I know someone who's regularly taken time-off instead of money and now has six vacation weeks a year…… Then�� ask your supervisor for a meeting to discuss salary. Present your request�� supported by documentation�� calmly and rationally. Don't ask for an immediate answer. Your boss is mostly likely going to have to discuss it with Human Resources and/or other company managers. Despite your best efforts�� there may simply not be enough money in the budget to increase your salary or compensation package offer. The company may also not want to create inequities by paying one person more than others in a similar position. In that case�� you can at least know you tried. Plus�� if this is a job you really think that you're going to love�� consider whether the company culture�� the benefits�� and the job itself are worth it - regardless of the salary.

����What Are You Passionate About��

����* One of my greatest passions is helping others. When I was younger�� I've enjoyed helping mom with household repairs. As I grew older�� that habit grew and I desired to help others as well. I like helping people find solutions that meet their specific needs.

����* I'm passionate about painting. I take an evening art class once a week and try to find time each weekend to paint. Painting is a good way for me to relax and even though I don't have much talent�� I do it enjoy it.

����* I lost my father to pancreatic cancer and ever since then�� I have spent time volunteering to help raise awareness and funding for cancer research. I volunteer for PanCan�� the advocacy group�� and I'm part of their volunteer network. One of the things I'm passionate is to assist in finding a cure�� however I can.

����* I'm passionate about making a difference. When I'm involved with a project at work I want to do my best to achieve success. I feel the same way about what I do in my personal life.

����* I'm an avid skier and I like to spend weekends and vacations on the ski slopes.

����"What Do People Most Often Criticize About You��

����There's no on-going criticism. I'm open to personal and professional growth and welcome the opportunity to improve.

����I have a teenage daughter - few things I do are okay on her radar screen.

����Why do you want this job��

����* This is not only a fine opportunity�� but this company is a place where my qualifications can make a difference. As a finance executive well versed in the new stock options law�� I see this position as made to order. It contains the challenge to keep me on my toes. That's the kind of job I like to anticipate every morning.

����* I want this job because it seems tailored to my competencies�� which include sales and marketing. As I said earlier�� in a previous position I created an annual growth rate of 22 percent in a flat industry. Additionally�� the team I would work with looks terrific.

����* I well understand that this is a company on the way up. Your Web site says the launch of several new products is imminent. I want be a part of this business as it grows.

����* Having worked through a college business major building decks and porches for neighbors�� this entry-level job for the area's most respected home builder has my name on it.

����* As a dedicated technician�� I like doing essential research. Being part of a breakthrough team is an experience I'd love to repeat.

����* This job is a good fit for what I've been interested in throughout my career. It offers a nice mix of short- and long-term activities. My short-term achievements keep me cranked up and the long-term accomplishments make me feel like a billion bucks.

����* I want this job selling theater tickets because I'd be good at it. I'm good at speaking to people and handling cash. I would like a job with regular hours and I'm always on time.

����* Although some companies are replacing Americans with imported low-wage workers�� you are standing tall. This company's successful strategies�� good reputation and values make it heads and shoulders above its competition.

����* I'd fit right in as a counter clerk in your fine drycleaners. I have observed that the counter clerk position requires competence at handling several activities in quick order —— customer service�� payments�� bagging and phones. I like multitasking and�� as a homemaker�� I have a lot of practice in keeping all the balls in the air.

����* The work I find most stimulating allows me to use both my creative and research skills. The buzz on this company is that it rewards people who deliver solutions to substantial problems.

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